#1  
03-02-2022, 06:56 PM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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Originally Posted by mbassiouny View Post
Yes, some pro laptops like mine (vostro, probook , elitebook, thinkpad, etc) have dual drives and can be found for not so expensive. These are good for this.
Okay, another two months have gone by (on top of the last couple of years since I bought a TBC and capture interface) and I still haven't captured anything. The latest advice to throw me was on a recent question I posted ... LS replied about not using USB drives to capture, which was news to me. The recommendation came down to use a Thunderbolt drive, which are screaming expensive. In addition, my eleven year old Mac is, I believe Thunderbolt 1 - which seems pointless to connect to a new $500 Thunderbolt 3 drive.

I learned about not capturing to a computer's OS drive for obvious reasons. mbassiouny posted about dual drive computers, which again is news to me. I didn't know computers with dual internal drives existed.

I googled dual drives so as to just finally give up on doing this cheaply, do it all correctly and spend a few bucks for a dedicated capture computer, and have exactly what I need to encode confidently with no fear of dropped frames or anything else. But now I'm seeing dual drive computers where one drive is a SSD, which LS also said not to use for capturing.

What do I look for in a new desktop all-in-one computer that's exactly ideal for a major video capture project? I have hundreds upon hundreds of precious family Hi8 tapes to encode which will take me at least a couple of years to capture, so the cost of a new computer (within reason) is not a deal-breaker. I just have no idea how to shop for the exact kind of computer that video capture enthusiasts like us use.

How do I know the internal drives are right for a two hour video data stream ... and any other specs required to have the "perfect" capture computer?

Can anyone help?
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  #2  
03-03-2022, 07:44 AM
traal traal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sac John View Post
But now I'm seeing dual drive computers where one drive is a SSD, which LS also said not to use for capturing.
Do you mean SMR? Definitely don't use SMR drives for capturing.
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  #3  
03-03-2022, 02:14 PM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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Originally Posted by traal View Post
Do you mean SMR? Definitely don't use SMR drives for capturing.
No. I don't know what SMR drives are. LS wrote not to use USB nor SSD drives due to intermittant data flow which (occasionally) results in dropped frames.

Now I'm shopping for a dual drive computer to have a dedicated capture computer for this mega-project, but the first one I saw - the second drive was an SSD. So I'm left trying to understand what makes an ideal capture computer with a second internal drive.
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  #4  
03-03-2022, 06:29 PM
Sac John Sac John is offline
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Since I started this thread, I read a few more other threads - including one intelligent comment that there's too much debate about video related components to put forth a "perfect" video capture computer. So my question probably isn't going to get any attention. Not a problem.

But I'm still focused on this one thing ... if I get a computer with dual drives, and, per LS, I'm not supposed to use USB or SSD drives ... how do I make sure a dual drive computer that I might buy has a second hard drive that are friendly for a two hour data stream of video?

I'm ignorant on terminology about the insides of computers ... although I do know what USB and SSDs are.

What's the terminology for that second drive I'm looking for that is not USB nor is it a SSD drive? (Again, just going off LS's advice to never use either of those.)

Obviously, I'm looking for a mechanical drive to capture to. Do second internal drives use USB to connect? Or how do I know that second drive is good for video capture?
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  #5  
03-03-2022, 07:09 PM
Hushpower Hushpower is offline
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Nobody else is piping up so I'll chip in.

Video capture is actually not that intensive. I have an 11 year-old i5 and it captures analogue SD with no problems at all.

The main "driver" these days is getting a machine with the horsepower to make editing and conversion/rendering to H264 or H265 a pleasant experience. To that end, a higher-end i7 or i9 CPU with iGPU and a separate video card such as a NVidia GTX 1050 or better and at least 16gb of RAM will do the job.

Now, hard drives. Most motherboards have 6 SATA ports, meaning you can hard 5 internal hard drives and your DVD/Bluray burner. I have 5 drives in my machine: a 256gb SSD for my C drive, a 1tb HDD for my general documents and two HDDS, 3tb and 4tb, for my video and a 4tb backup drive.

The internal drives all connect via SATA so you won't have any USB issues. You could have 4 x 8tb HDDs in your box! I would like to try a powered USB 3 external drive for capture. I'm not sure it would be a flop. This is 2022, after all.

The newer motherboards have NVMe and M.2 drives (which are a type of super fast SSD). I haven't investigated those thoroughly yet but have blazing speeds and I would probably use one for my Windows drive.

A caveat on all that is your capture device. I'm assuming it works with Windows 10 64 bit. If it doesn't, then you'll need to backpedal on my above comments and get advice from others.
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  #6  
03-04-2022, 12:51 AM
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Are you using a usb capture card? If so, your options expand. If not, you can state the type of card you are using for more direct advice.

I am no expert on this subject, but recently went through a similar mission. I have limited space, so this drove why I chose what I did. My "perfect" machine is likely vastly different than others based on their personal needs.

With these constraints in mind (usb capture card, limited physical space, windows xp) here is what I did:

I picked up a Dell 7010 USFF, which is their `ultra small form factor` machine. I chose Dell 7010 as the model number, as this was the most recent machine I could find that natively supported windows xp drivers. It has decent specs (i5) and can be picked up in good condition right now for around $100 shipped.

For the second drive in this capture machine, I picked up a 2.5 inch 2tb internal seagate drive. ($70)

I then picked up this cool hdd dock for it: ($18)
ICY DOCK 2.5" SATA SSD / HDD Docking for Slim ODD Bay (12.7mm) | flexiDOCK MB511SPO-B

It replaces the dvd drive and you can pop these 2.5 inch drives in and out easily through the front of the case. So when your capture drive is full you can pop it out and drop it in a dock on your main computer to move the files. The installation of this dock and its use is entirely toolless.

For my non capture computer, I am using this dock to xfer from the drive: ($27)
Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5" or 3.5"' HDD, SSD [Support UASP] (EC-UBLB)

If your machine does not come with xp, you could choose to use a bootable usb xp install drive.

I have seen some on the forum recommend:
WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL SP3 X86 - INTEGRAL EDITION

After install, you can use snappy driver installer to install your drivers. If you want to hand pick your drivers, you could also use driverscape.com. There was one driver that snappy driver installer was not installing automatically, it was reported as a PCI device, but I cant remember what exactly it was. Maybe onboard audio. Dell.com hosts xp drivers for this machine, but they seem to be corrupted. I was getting errors when trying to execute the Dell's installers hosted on their site.

Anyway, it was a mostly painless process compared to some other alternatives I have tried. I am happy with it because it is small and efficient. I also am not experiencing dropped / inserted frames or any weirdness in virtualdub. However your milage may vary.
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  #7  
03-04-2022, 08:09 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sac John View Post
Okay, another two months have gone by (on top of the last couple of years since I bought a TBC and capture interface) and I still haven't captured anything.
Aw.

Quote:
The recommendation came down to use a Thunderbolt drive, which are screaming expensive. In addition, my eleven year old Mac is, I believe Thunderbolt 1 - which seems pointless to connect to a new $500 Thunderbolt 3 drive.
I've not kept up on Thunderbold, mostly because it's a Mac-only thing, and I don't have anything past Firewire 800. The main concept is sustained writes. USB has burst, which is bad for sustained writing, aka something like capturing video. SSD is equally bad at sustained, due to the fragmented nature.

Quote:
mbassiouny posted about dual drive computers, which again is news to me. I didn't know computers with dual internal drives existed.
Sure. Two drives. We had a computer in the 80s with dual drives. Most OEM computers have just one drive, often small and crappy. Most laptops/notebooks are the same. Most. I have a Win7 capture laptop with two drives, SSD for boot, large 2tb for capture.

Why only 2tb? That's the max size of PMR, before you get to SMR, on 2.5" drives. For 3.5", those drive capacities change. More on that in a second...

Quote:
But now I'm seeing dual drive computers where one drive is a SSD, which LS also said not to use for capturing.
SSD = OS drive.

Quote:
What do I look for in a new desktop all-in-one computer
AIO computers are again back to crappy single drives. I even have a mini PC with Win10, that has SSD stick, with

Quote:
Originally Posted by traal View Post
Do you mean SMR? Definitely don't use SMR drives for capturing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sac John View Post
No. I don't know what SMR drives are.
SMR drives are shingled magnetic. It's a hard drive recording method. I don't want to explain it too in-depth here. It's essentially slow to write, decent to read. These are meant for slower write asks, not written much. Archival drives, one-time backup drives (not daily backups). Like SSD, fast writes to a point, then slow as molasses. Dropped frames.

Most 2.5" are past 2tb
Most 3.5" are usually past 4tb, but excludes more expensive PMR drives, like Seagate Exos.

Quote:
LS wrote not to use USB nor SSD drives due to intermittant data flow which (occasionally) results in dropped frames.
It can be constant, not just occasionally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sac John View Post
including one intelligent comment that there's too much debate about video related components to put forth a "perfect" video capture computer.
But that's a BS comment. There is indeed a perfect computer for capturing.

It's the system that
- works with the desired capture cards (ideally a good card, not a POS)
- using a cooperative IS (ie, not Win10/11, not Mac 10/15+, rarely Linux flavors)
- has dedicated HDD for capture, not the OS drive
- does not cause dropped frames
- is not a wind tunnel of noise
- is not a portable heater (especially in summer)
- can have IPS calibrated monitor, generally DVI/HDMI out for desktop, or IPS non-shiny for laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hushpower View Post
Video capture is actually not that intensive.
CPU, can be some.
RAM, not really at all.
graphics card, often doesn't matter whatsoever

... but the I/O, the HDD, it can be very intensive. And that causes the dropped frames issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tape View Post
I picked up a Dell 7010 USFF, which is their `ultra small form factor` machine. I chose Dell 7010 as the model number, as this was the most recent machine I could find that natively supported windows xp drivers. It has decent specs (i5) and can be picked up in good condition right now for around $100 shipped.
For the second drive in this capture machine, I picked up a 2.5 inch 2tb internal seagate drive. ($70)
I then picked up this cool hdd dock for it: ($18)
ICY DOCK 2.5" SATA SSD / HDD Docking for Slim ODD Bay (12.7mm) | flexiDOCK MB511SPO-B
It replaces the dvd drive and you can pop these 2.5 inch drives in and out easily through the front of the case. So when your capture drive is full you can pop it out and drop it in a dock on your main computer to move the files. The installation of this dock and its use is entirely toolless.
For my non capture computer, I am using this dock to xfer from the drive: ($27)
Sabrent USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station for 2.5" or 3.5"' HDD, SSD [Support UASP] (EC-UBLB)
That can work. Not bad.

Quote:
I have seen some on the forum recommend:
WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL SP3 X86 - INTEGRAL EDITION
Yes. It's an unofficial build, but a decade more advanced that the official versions. Better support for hardware, decrapified, etc.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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  #8  
03-05-2022, 09:05 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Quote:
...new desktop all-in-one computer...
Many are essentially a laptop guts with a better keyboard and larger screen; no longer portable.

Not mentioned above are to exclude the video storage drives from antivirus processing, at least during capture.
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  #9  
03-05-2022, 09:20 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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A capture computer shouldn't even be online, nor have anti-virus. Nothing to disturb the sole function of capturing video.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
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  #10  
03-11-2022, 10:53 AM
mbassiouny mbassiouny is offline
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To give concrete examples instead of just generic guidelines,

For lenovo thinkpad:
You can go with things like thinkpad t410, T420 (S) and 510, 520. These are old enough to be able to run windows XP if needed, and defaulted to 7. They are still usable and have intel core CPUs.
Have 1x mSata SSD slot and 1x 2.5 sata slot. Use a Small ssd for OS, and install and capture on the other drive.

Cost for these machines from what I see in my local market is around 50-150€ depending on seller+luck mainly, and sometimes if seller did upgrades. Cost for the drives should be around 30€-40€ for SSD and and 50-60€ for a 2TB drive (new).

I read people on reddit getting crazy deals on thinkpad and buying them used for 20$ and 30$ in the US. never seen such low prices myself in my local market. These are cheap because they are pro laptops, so usually get tossed away to recyclers, etc. Local places (shops and marketplaces like FB, Craigslist, etc) are usually slightly cheaper than ebay.

For dell laptops look for latitude:
example https://www.ebay.com/itm/13400806126...0AAOSwUqVh9E0W

You can see, they are tossing them in bulks lol
https://www.ebay.com/itm/22487276522...QAAOSwoyJiJWlb

btw, Pro laptops are usually the best laptops to get if you want something second handed, companies get them for low prices and don't expect profit when reselling. They are pretty durable, and usually not abused because they are used in office/at home but properly, and they usually have monitored forced VPN, etc

So People don't (usually) use them for Netflix, watch God only knows what on dirty websites (LR literally once found "sticky white substance" while fixing a customer's laptop, he made a video on youtube about it ), no use in bed or other abusive conditions and they are usually built to last. Unlike trash laptop like the Yoga series or the pavilion from HP, these are built flawed by design.

Last edited by mbassiouny; 03-11-2022 at 11:05 AM.
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